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Does Pat Sajak’s Military Service Disqualify Him from Voting?

I know Mr. J. Turk hit this today, but I found Pat Sajak’s brief for disenfranchising public employees to be at the leading edge of new and exciting batshit crazy ideas which will hit the conservative mainstream in 6 months, so it’s worth highlighting it once again.

In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it’s only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted. So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly? The same question goes for federal workers in federal elections.

I’m not suggesting that public employees should be denied the right to vote, but that there are certain cases in which their stake in the matter may be too great.

Actually, I’m pretty sure you are suggesting that teachers, firefighters, policemen, EMT technicians, long-term care workers and construction workers should be denied the right to vote. And I expect that Sajak, the Wheel of Fortune game show host writing opinion articles for one of the most prestigious magazines in the conservative movement, will move from there to questioning whether anyone who benefits from federal government largesse – food stamp recipients, Medicaid beneficiaries, defense contractors (bite your tongue) – shouldn’t get to vote, either.

So let’s play this out. Let’s have a look at Pat Sajak’s history:

Sajak won a contest on WLS radio’s Dick Biondi Show to be a guest tween deejay. While at Columbia College Chicago, his broadcasting instructor Al Parker told him that a local radio station (WEDC) was looking for a newsman. Sajak applied for the job and was hired to work from midnight to 6:00 AM. In 1968, Sajak joined the U.S. Army, and was sent to Vietnam, where he deejayed on Armed Forces Radio.

Thank you for your service. But is it right for government military workers to be able to vote in elections on matters that would benefit them directly? I mean, in 1968, Humphrey turned against the war at the end, while Nixon, secret plan and all, was a better bet for Sajak’s continued employment.

I’m not suggesting that Pat Sajak should be denied the right to vote, but that there are certain cases in which his stake in the matter may be too great. Of course we all have a stake one way or another in most elections. But if a vote came up in 1968 – or even now – where a candidate would cap pay or benefits for military veterans, should Pat Sajak be able to vote on the matter? Plainly, his interest as a direct recipient of the benefits outweigh the interests of non-veterans whose taxes support such benefits.

I realize this opens a Pandora’s box in terms of figuring out what constitutes a true conflict of interest, but, after all, does anyone really want Pat Sajak to vote?

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David Dayen

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